Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Cross-Cultural Slang

I learned a new term from one of my co-workers today: ABCD, which stands for "American-Born Confused Desi". I was greatly amused. The term is used by Indian immigrants to describe Indian-Americans (not to be confused with American Indians -- and thanks, Columbus, for screwing up your navigation and leaving us with this grammatical problem 400 years later). ABCDs use the term "FOB" to describe recent immigrants (as far as I can tell, this is universal, since my Asian friends -- admittedly all twinkies -- use the same terminology).

Share and enjoy.

After reading the definition of "twinkie" under the second link, I wanted to point out that the definition on that page, while amusing, is somewhat extreme. Almost all of my Asian friends can speak their native language. Usage of "twinkie" by said group seems to be similar to the usage of "geek" about five or so years back -- how it is used and whether you label yourself as such depends on how much you associate with the given group/culture. A self-labeled twinkie may be fully conversant in their native language and culture, but simply choose to spend the bulk of their time in mainstream American culture, just as a self-labeled geek is proud of their high degree of skill in an area that most people consider boring or strange.

Wow, that was deep. I think I need to go shoot something to balance my ying-yang.

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